A couple of months ago I sent an email to our local MP, Ed Balls, to express my concern about the lack of fairness when it comes to energy efficient windows and their inclusion in the Green Deal.
As many of you know, many home improvement measures included in the Green Deal are subject to a 5% VAT rate. However, it seems that windows seems to be the only measure that is still lumbered with the high 20% VAT rate. In my letter I asked him if anything could be done and is pressure would be put on the relevant people involved to make sure that windows were given the best chance possible of receiving the lower VAT rate. This was his letter to me in response:
Thank you for contacting me recently concerning VAT rates and the Green Deal.
Improving energy efficiency in our country is an important priority and we need to make sure the Coalition Government’s Green Deal works for small businesses in this area, amongst other groups.
I am sympathetic to the issues you have raised. Indeed as part of Labour’s five point plan for jobs we have proposed a one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements, repairs and maintenance, to help homeowners and small businesses such as yours. I can assure you that I will continue to press the Coalition Government on this issue in order to protect small businesses.
I will continue to follow this closely and bear in mind the views you have raised. However, please contact me if you would like to meet to discuss this in more detail.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views. If I can be of further assistance on this or any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me in me constituency office.
MP for Morley and Outwood
The one year cut in VAT plan sounds good to me. Though I doubt this is something that the Government is going to listen to. Unfortunately, a few days ago, I received an email from one of our industry friends who had also contacted their MP about the same issue and got a rather disappointing response. To save this post being too long, click on the PDF link to see the response: Green Deal
So, despite our efforts and our nagging of our local MP’s, it looks like there may be too much resistance for windows to be given the lower VAT rate. So, another reason why it is going to be hard work for windows to do well in the scheme.
PS: should I meet Mr Balls to discuss the matter further?